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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

9780190263553 - Atlas of the World 22nd edition (22e)

Place of the Year 2015: behind the longlist

You don’t need to follow the news too closely to know that 2015 has been a roller coaster of a year. Last week we announced our longlist for Place of the Year 2015, but since then some of you have been asking, “why is x included?”, or “why is y worth our attention?”

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Of honeymoons, hangovers, and fixed-term contracts

Companies care about the job satisfaction of their employees, because this is in their very own interest. In fact, dissatisfied workers perform poorly, are often absent and impose hiring costs as they switch employers frequently. Managers, as well as management researchers, agree on the importance of job satisfaction, since the Hawthorne experiments suggested in the 1920s that employees like attentive employers.

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Open Access Week – continuing on the journey

That time of the year is upon us again – Strictly Come Dancing is on the telly, Starbucks is selling spiced pumpkin lattes, and the kids are getting ready for a night of trick-or-treating. It can mean only one thing: Open Access Week is upon us.

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Shale oil and gas in the United States [infographic]

The growth of United States’ shale oil and gas production over the last decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. Already the premier natural gas producer, Already the premier natural gas producer, the United States is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the largest oil producer and will likely become a net exporter of both oil and gas within a decade or more.

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Pivotal Countries, Alternate Futures

Naivety in the US approach to Syria

Another strategic surprise; another flat-footed, perplexed response. Repeatedly blind-sided, the Obama administration has failed to fundamentally reassess its grand strategy of restraint.

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9780199272334 oso

Did human grammar(s) evolve?

In order to hypothesize about the evolutionary origins of grammar, it is essential to rely on some theory or model of human grammars. Interestingly, scholars engaged in the theoretical study of grammar (syntacticians), particularly those working within the influential framework associated with linguist Noam Chomsky, have been reluctant to consider a gradualist, selection-based approach to grammar.

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On Indian democracy and justice

We have reason to be proud of our determination to choose democracy before any other poor country in the world, and to guard jealously its survival and continued success over difficult times as well as easy ones. But democracy itself can be seen either just as an institution, with regular ballots and elections and other such organizational requirements, or it can be seen as the way things really happen in the actual world on the basis of public deliberation.

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Teh Anthropocene Project-Williston

Climate change and the Syrian refugee crisis: being honest about root causes

What should we make of Chancellor George Osborne’s recent claim that we need a “comprehensive plan” to address the burgeoning Syrian refugee crisis, a plan that addresses the “root causes” of this tragic upheaval? The UK government’s way of framing the issue is not unique. Many other governments as well as political pundits of various ideological stripes have been urging us to see the issue in precisely these terms.

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Journal of Consumer Research

Consumer reactions to attractive service providers

Imagine that you are going to buy a health care product. You see a highly attractive salesperson. What would be your reaction? Would you feel very happy? Would you spend more time interacting with the salesperson and be more likely to buy his/her products?

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Musical Quarterly

Learning to listen

If your experience of school music was anything like mine, you’ll recall those dreaded aural lessons when the teacher put on a recording and instructed you to identify the instruments, to describe the main melody, to spot a key change, perhaps even to name the composer.

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Tax competition – a threat to economic life as we know it

The creativity of rich individuals and their tax advisors to hide private wealth in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands or Switzerland knows hardly any bounds. Just as unethical, though often legal, are the multiple techniques multinational corporations use to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions such as Panama or Bermuda.

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9780199272334 oso

Cars – are they a species?

The Edwardian seer and futurologist, H. G. Wells, wondered whether aircrafts would ever be used commercially. He did the calculations and found that, yes, an airplane could be built and, yes, it would fly, but he proclaimed this would never be commercial.

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On the unstoppable rise of vineyard geology

The relationship between wine and the vineyard earth has long been held as very special, especially in Europe. Tradition has it that back in the Middle Ages the Burgundian monks tasted the soils in order to gauge which ones would give the best tasting wine, and over the centuries this kind of thinking was to become entrenched. The vines were manifestly taking up water from the soil.

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Bayliss and Stoddart-British Nuclear Experience

Clement Attlee and the bomb

As the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, wrestles with his own beliefs about nuclear weapons and those opposing beliefs of many members of the Shadow Cabinet, it is interesting to look back to the debates which took place in the Labour Government of Clement Attlee in the immediate post-war period.

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